Internal Revenue Service - IRS

Definition of 'Internal Revenue Service - IRS'


A United States government agency that is responsible for the collection and enforcement of taxes. The IRS was established in 1862 by President Lincoln and operates under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury. It is primarily engaged in the collection of individual income taxes and employment taxes, but also handles corporate, gift, excise and estate taxes.

The IRS is sometimes referred to as the "tax man."

Investopedia explains 'Internal Revenue Service - IRS'


The IRS is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is an expansive organization that services the taxation of all Americans. In 2006, the IRS processed about 133 million personal income tax returns and almost six million corporate income tax returns, bringing in trillions of dollars of tax revenue.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Walras' Law

    An economics law that suggests that the existence of excess supply in one market must be matched by excess demand in another market so that it balances out. So when examining a specific market, if all other markets are in equilibrium, Walras' Law asserts that the examined market is also in equilibrium.
  2. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  3. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  4. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  5. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  6. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
Trading Center